tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 21, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT
they'd apparently like him to go home. a silver lining. a four cylinder ecoboost in america silver lining. "hardball" is up next. good night. >> all hail the coalition. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, obama/clinton, the o.c. the best political mooch president obama made in his presidency even before he was president was to forge a lincolnesque coalition with the other force in the democratic party, the clintons, naming hillary clinton as secretary of state was just the beginning. last week, she took the front line job in bringing about what could be obama's greatest presidential achievement, peace in the middle east. this week bill clinton joined hands with obama, touting him in advance of the big midterm elections. could there be a stronger role
for the clintons after the election? we have arianna huffington. is the quote still taboo? we're talking witchcraft. we're talking christine o'donnell. our friend bill maher rebroadcast a clip of o'donnell from the show in which o'donnell said she once dabbled in witchcraft and went on a date with a satanic altar. what will the voters of delaware make of that? republican dale peterson of alabama said things like president obama hates america. you know, the usual stuff. this unthinking hatred of the president by right wingers and tea parters has gotten pretty far out. so far, how the democrats going to fight with it? speaking of screwball talk how about newt gingrich? he's out with the craziest chug-a-lugging the kool-aid and sounding like a paranoid or is he or talking a joaquin phoenix
right now by pretending to be wild to fire up his brand-name. and let me finish tonight with what i saw today with president obama in today's town hall with cnbc. we begin tonight with the obama/clinton coalition. arianna huffington. author of a great new book "third world america" there it is in red. and "newsweek's" howard fineman is an msnbc political analyst who always in the news. go to arianna huffington. arianna, congratulations on "the huffington post." it's enormous. it's big. >> thank you. i thought you were going to congratulate me for bringing howard fineman on board. >> well, i was going to start with you, greatness. and your greatness. i'll start with yours. talk about the news. you cover the progressive news better than anybody. so let me talk about the progressive. let's call it the progressive centrist coalition which won the last election. the combination of moderates in the democratic party, progressives democratic party and some moderate high-thinking, i would say, republicans, like colin powell and people like that, who i know, susan eisenhower who voted for obama. how do you hold that thing together in perpitude?
how do you build the way that tony blair built the new labor party in britain? here's bill clinton with some advice for the democrats, and nobody does this better the center left thing than mr. bill. let's listen. >> i told the president last time i talked to him, i said, i don't think they're saying very many things about you now they didn't say about me in '94. people just don't feel better and they're vulnerable. and the democrats need to say, this is what we did, this is what happened and this is what we're going to do. i think that their only chance here is to shake their own voters out of their apathy and respond to the legitimate voter anger by saying, what's going to happen in the next two years? what do we need to do and who's more likely to do it? if that is the question, they can win that fight and they'll do fine. if the election's about vote you're mad, they won't do very well. i just try to talk about what are we going to do. what are we going to do?
i think the president is beginning to do that. >> arianna, if somebody wants the democrats to win the nomination -- i'm sorry hold the presidency next time. to do the good as you can in a bad economic time this coming november 2nd, what's the smart move? smart political move? >> what the president -- what president clinton said about acknowledging the anger is the first important step. because the anger is everywhere. it's not just in the tea party. i was speaking to the teamsters convention in minnesota on sunday. they're angry. the problem is that the president and his administration have for so long said how much they've done right that they are not really addressing where people find themselves. which is 26 million of them without jobs, about to have 3 million foreclosures this year, et cetera, et cetera. >> i know. >> they need to address that reality in which people are living. it's not just a matter of communications. and i love what bill clinton said, about telling them exactly what you're going to do next to fix that. they haven't done that either. they talk about jobs being a priority, but they haven't really produced a long list of suggestions, solutions that
include republican ones. like a payroll tax holiday. like a big infrastructure project with a chance to get through the congress. >> big question, not enough oomph. that's arianna's complaint. it's not that they haven't sold it. i can hear in her words, the criticism, not just pr. they haven't done enough to get jobs back. >> well, it's not just the oomph. the thing about bill clinton was he always spoke in specifics that average people could understand. bill clinton had spent years selling himself in arkansas -- >> a republican, conservative state. >> at every quickee stop, at every gas station, at every crossroads in arkansas. he knew how to forget philosophy and bring it down to actual real things. he never underestimated the patience of the voters. he spoke in detail. he said, we have done this, we have done this. what we've done for this state, for that state. for this group, for that group. this is what's coming next. people want to hear that. >> and i think that he also,
arianna, understood the importance of cultural cues. i spent the weekend with my wife kathleen, listening to tony blair's book. it is astoundingly smart how he look a left wing labor party in britain and brought it into the light and people began to like it, for certain smart ways he changed the language. i think that bill clinton and calling herself hillary clinton. it may not be a big deal to some people but it's a big deal to other people. here it is, bill clinton boiling it down for the democrats. let's listen. >> i think the democrats ought to talk about the republican agenda. they want to repeal financial reform. they want to repeal the best student loan reform in history. they want to repeal not fixed health care. the democrats could focus on that and shake the voters out of their apathy, then we'll do fine. >> you know, and i worry about arianna, i worry about the right calling this guy the worst names in the world. people like newt gingrich who have at least evidence of an i.q. over the years, are saying terrible things.
people on radio are awful all the time now and now, the progressive left is joining in that with a ridicule of the president because he's not progressive enough, failing to recognize that he won with a coalition. center left coalition. he didn't win just with progressives. you've got all the numbers i've got them. we all know that he just didn't win with the left. he won with the center. my question to you, how do you hold the left and the center going into this election, both? >> you know what, chris, i don't think this is about left and right. this is about millions of people in this country really hurting and he needs to address that. and the number in the last abc/"washington post" poll that shows now while there were 72% of people who -- when he took office believed that he understood the problems of people like us, now this number is down to 50%. now, that is really a huge, huge decline and he needs to make the american people believe that he really connects with where they're at right now. >> do you think he started
today -- i watched the whole thing. howard first and then arianna. i've got a commentary in this show. i think that it's great to listen to people who are skeptical. a lot of these business-type guys pretty smart guys up there, shrewd guys. we're grilling him today and he was taking it. >> yeah, he can handle it and i think that's good. the more he's out there talking to people who understand the economic situation -- >> and don't like him. >> and even if they don't like him, fine. >> i love it. >> he's perfectly capable of handling all of that stuff. he's good at it. he's a lawyer. he's an empathetic guy but he's not always in the situation where he can show. >> why do they keep setting him up with those goof ball ringers? what's it like to be great? do you ever get tired of people not understanding your motives? arianna, i hate to be skeptical. well, i am skeptical. the best thing you can do in baseball is throw a nice, hard pitch down the middle and the guy hits it as far as he can. the worst thing that you can do is these weird sort of puff ball change-ups that these guys throw and he answers the puff ball. i think that it looks like an
infomercial and it looks disastrous. and i think the teleprompter ought to be sent to the farthest place from america, get rid of all the teleprompters and make him answer questions and talk to people, talk. your thoughts? >> this town hall meeting was extraordinary for me because of the questions from people like this woman who said, i'm a mother, i'm a wife. >> she was great. >> i'm an american veteran and i'm one of your middle-class americans and quite frankly, i'm exhausted. your heart went out because you could feel what you were going through. questions like the one who said, mr. president, i need you to answer this honestly. is this my new reality? she was talking about what her life was like. that was for me really powerful and he didn't have compelling answers and that's really the problem. there are no compelling answers. >> arianna, you and i are on the same page. i thought, because i grew up like this. began to make money in the '50s.
my father began to make more money and we stopped having dried beef and hot dogs. she said, are we going back to hot dogs and beans. we were at hot dogs and beans, they worked their way up to middle class and now we're afraid to go back to hot dogs. which is the equivalent of less expensive eating. although a lot of people will be lucky to have hot dogs. let's be honest. she was better than he was. she was talking american life. >> yeah. and he's -- i hate to say it, he's still a professor some of the time. he's trying. you see him trying. you want him to get over the hump with these people and really say, as bill clinton would tell him to do. okay, here are the three things we've done for you now. your kids are going to get health care through the age of 26. you're going to get that student loan. you're going to get the help with unemployment benefits. you know, those kinds of things are what he has to say. >> i don't know, arianna, listen to what he had to say and critique it. that woman should be his campaign manager because she's talking from us and regular people. this thing about fearing, you
talk about it now, arianna. let's not show more of the president. i want you. you're rare to get on this show. this reset button, my wife talks about it. people are afraid of the reset. meaning this, you work yourself from middle to slightly above middle a lot of americans and they're going wait a minute, our kids, i thought were going to start from that plateau and go up further. now i'm afraid that my kids will get at that plateau and fall down from it. that's the fear. >> and, chris, they're not just afraid of the reset. they're living the reset. 100 million people in this country are now living at a standard of living that is not as good as their parents at the same age. we are number ten in upward mobility, behind france and germany and latino. >> above france? we're below france in upward mobility? >> exactly. they're doing the american dream better than we are. >> wait a minute, i thought in france you get used to the fact that for your father is a baker,
you're a baker. your grandfather's a shoemaker, you're a shoemaker. you're telling me they have broken out of that? >> yes, i'm telling you, these numbers have changed. and now, the middle class life has become a game of chance. if you're lucky, you'll have a middle class life, you're able to hold on to it. that's what the people who talk to him, who asked the questions today, were expressing. that's why it was powerful. >> can i give you a lecture? >> yes. >> mario cuomo, one of my heroes, i think howard appreciates what i'm going to say as well, he says, no matter how bad the news, always leave your people with some sort of hope at the end. at the end. and i hear in your voice -- i hear deflection of your voice. okay, go ahead. >> my sense of hope is my entire fifth section of the book is all about hope. but my hope is about what the people are doing themselves to get their families out of the sort of financial trouble they're in. to bigger financial literacy. to help each other, go online, amazing site.
>> the scary thing is that people are saving money now like they've never saved before. and paying debt like they've never paid before. the trouble is, the combined impact is helping to depress the economy. talk about a revolt in development. arianna, congratulations on your latest acquisition. your greatest hire. i think i know him very well. he's sitting here. howard fineman. as always, my best pal in this business. thank you, howard fineman. arianna huffington, congratulations again. what you have done, you've created -- you've build something, something grand, the huffington post. coming up -- as if things couldn't get any stranger in delaware, bill maher found a video clip of republican senate christine o'donnell back in 19 9, that's not a million years ago, admitted that she dabbled in witchcraft. can you undabble? that's the question. by the way is it as sinatra said, strictly taboo? when we come back, o'donnell and witchcraft. what kind of brew is she involved in? plus brand-new poll numbers from hot races across the country. that's in our
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who is the big winner of the presidential straw vote at the weekend's conservative values voters summit? well indiana congressman, mike pence. he finished first with 24% of the vote. mike huckabee, 22%. mitt romney, newt gingrich, sarah palin, rounded out the five. they didn't do so well. interestingly, the values voters summit likes palin as a number two, after pence. she took second place in the vice presidential poll. i guess they're saying that she's not presidential material but she's vice presidential material? check your constitution. that means that you're capable of replacing the president. if necessary. be careful. ok, this is from... aunt stacey. introducing chase quickdeposit. just photograph the front and back of your check using the chase mobile app on your iphone, and hit send. it went through. this is so cool. this is so cool. you wanna try it? yea. ok. all right. who's next? make a deposit from anywhere, anytime--
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to your daily routine. [ amy ] boost drink gives my favorite patient the complete nutrition she needs to keep doing the things she loves. welcome back to "hardball." the latest on that delaware senate race in a moment. first, let's look at something we're starting tonight. the "hardball" scoreboard. it's brand new tonight and we'll be checking it throughout this election season going into november 2nd. here's where some of the key
races stand right now. in that hot race in pennsylvania for the u.s. senate the new politics p.a. poll shows republican pat toomey with a nine-point lead now over democrat, joe sestak. that's an automated poll which some pollsters say might not be as accurate but toomey is looking strong. in california the newest public policy poll has senator barbara boxer leading carly fiorina 50-42. that's a strong lead. but also an automated poll. and pollster.com's trend on the question, of which party voters want control in congress is now 45-42, favoring the republicans. although, modestly. now, to delaware, where a political earthquake resulted in the country's introduction to the newly elected republican nominee for senate, christine o'donnell. everyone wants to know more about her. here's bill maher on his hbo show "realtime." >> christine, if you're watching, i created you. you need to come on this show.
if you don't come on this show, i'm going to show a clip every week. i'm the only one who has them. let me show this clip from "politically correct," i don't know what year, like 1997 or something. >> you were a witch. >> i dabbled into witchcraft. i never joined a covent. >> you were a witch? >> i didn't join a coven. >> wait a minute. you're a witch -- you are going at halloween i was a witch. >> that's exactly why. >> how could you be a witch? >> because i dabbled into witchcraft. i hung around people who were doing these things. >> having fun? >> i'm not making this stuff up. i know what they told me they do. >> well, what do they do? >> on one my dates, like my first date was -- >> wait a minute, wait a minute. i want to hear. >> know of my first dates was on a satanic altar and i didn't know it. >> your first date was on a satanic altar? >> went on a date, then a little midnight picnic. >> wow, videotape. it's dangerous stuff. christine o'donnell came back with an answer to that witchcraft question, here she is.
>> bill wanted ratings. i gave him ratings. i was in high school. who didn't have interesting friends in high school. there's no story here. >> michelle bernard is an msnbc political analyst and president and ceo of independent's woman's forum. david corn, the washington bureau chief for "mother jones" magazine. as frank sinatra said it is strictly taboo. is this a killer, a croaker or not, or youthful indiscretion? >> i would say that as a candidate, she's probably not by cup of tea, no pun intended, but given with what's happened in the electorate all over the country, i don't think that this is going to make a bit of a difference. the people who intend to vote for her will vote for her no matter what. >> broomstick or not. >> this is rosemary's boo boo. but it doesn't matter -- is nothing sacred? that was by the way a real pun, is nothing sacred.
it was a neilism. go ahead. >> thank you for that education. i have to believe that there are a few independent voters in delaware who still may not have their mind made up who are going to hear this and scratch their heads, and say, what? and more importantly, bill maher may be the kingmaker here because he's also said that he has 22 clips of other shows she did when he hosted "politically incorrect" and if she doesn't appear on his show, he'll release them one at a time. this is like a hostage situation. so who knows what else might come up. i understand there's a lost anger out there and people are going to vote for her no matter what, but that's a pretty tight base. how wide does that go in terms of independents? i don't know. are you still going to make that bet. >> i will not make anymore. there's a lot of denominational struggles. the evangelicals don't like the mormons. there's anti-rc attitude out there in the country. you've seen it once in awhile. is this one of those interdominational things that might be a problem? the conflict between
evangelical, christianity and witchcraft? i mean, could this be too wide a gap? i'm dead serious. a person has taken a very strong -- very conservative in her catholicism and by the way she's said nothing about our religion, shared religion which surprises me. i believe it's all tree. it's our religion. a more conservative take, but certainly familiar with what i was brought up with. whereas witchcraft seems particular a real departure. when i was a young person, going to an altar where there was satanic rites going on or is it just hijinks? >> i don't know what to make of it. you look at what independent voters are thinking. for example, independent women's voice conducted a poll. doug sloan democratic pollster did it for us. >> is he still a democrat? >> he's still a democrat. >> with heather higgins today in "wall street journal." be careful about that. >> shown as a democratic -- >> i think that it was your opinion. >> a democratic pollster, spoke with 1,000 likely voters. you know self-identified independents.
and what they're saying is that they don't like -- this is a beauty contest where all the contestants are ugly. they don't like the republicans. they don't like the democrats but they're leaning republican. >> so what is taboo anymore? what would break your theory then is that it's all about his anger, and as long as that person is angry will vote for anyone in office. anything that restricts that, that says not far? >> i would hope something that restricts it and says not that far. independents are saying many of the republican party because many members of the republican party have gone too far right. maybe people will look at witchcraft as too far right but if she sticks with the message of cutting taxes -- >> let's be fair. >> tone this down. i think the devil is concerned damned in catholicology. >> we have a tape thanks to brian williams tonight. he did an interview with former president jimmy carter and his sense of honesty, if you will, and his almost unbelievable
strict attitude about saying what he thinks. here he is in an interview about why he did what he did recently. let's listen. >> in the last photo of you with your fellow former president, you were well off to the side on the right. i thought to myself, there's a possible metaphor. what is it about you, you think, the way you've decided to conduct your life in post presidency, do you feel listened to, do you feel that you receive your due, or do you feel in fact, apart from the crowd? >> no, i feel that my role as a former president is superior to that of other presidents. primarily because of the activism and ejection of working of the center to international affairs and to some degree, domestic affairs. >> president carter released this statement after the clip first aired on msnbc. what i meant was for 27 years the carter center has provided
me with superior opportunities to do good. i don't think that's what he meant. >> no, no. >> your thoughts. i thought that he was being very tough on the other former presidents by saying he had a superior mission in life. admittedly, people like jerry ford, he's a good guy, he decided after his presidency to go play and golf and enjoy life. bill clinton's doing the global initiative, which is admirable by any standard. how does this president separate himself? >> i think he was, to a degree, correct. not polite, but correct. if you compare to what he did, to say george herbert walker bush, he's done a lot more. he did habitat for humanity. went around the world. he was very controversial. not everyone liked what he did. he became more of a public servant after being president. bill clinton's done a lot too. compared to the presidents before him and near him, he's done a lot more. now, whether you say that to brian williams or not is a whole different matter. you should let us say that. >> to me it's so jimmy carter. it's just, the truth, raw truth, as he sees it. your thoughts. >> i think that he absolutely
meant what he said. >> i think so, too. >> the first time he said it. >> i don't think he needed a correction. i think that that was pr. thank you, people are going toed there book. michelle bernard, thank you. polite note, correct but not polite. again, tomorrow night we'll have much more on christine o'donnell as bill maher himself will be our guest. maybe he'll show us some tapes. up next sarah palin goes to iowa and talks about running but that's not what you think. check out the "sideshow," she's doing a little tease out there. , and a healthy level of sodium. , it's amazing what soup can do. we need directions to go to... pearblossom highway? it's just outside of lancaster. sure, i can download directions for you now. we got it. thank you very much! check it out. i can like, see everything that's going on with the car. here's the gas level. i can check on the oil. i can unlock it from anywhere. i've received a signal there was a crash.
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i took advantage of the loans that you were just speaking about, but i can't make the interest payments on those loans today, let alone thinking -- think about getting a mortgage, having a family, having even a marriage. it's awfully expensive. >> i'm not going to comment on that. >> let me just say that whatever the expense, it's worth it. i want that on record. >> as american as apple pie. meanwhile in iowa friday night, sarah palin did what every political reporter in america knew she would do, she did the standard, oh, okay, corny political tease. here she is at the state's annual ronald reagan dinner. >> i want to go fly out, go out and see iowa and todd says, i don't know. i think you should go downstairs, run on that treadmill. i say, why would i want to stay indoors? todd says because i guarantee you if anyone spots you in the
tennis shoes, the headline's going to be, vanity fair, they're going to say, palin in iowa, decides to run. >> "vanity fair"? palin will tease until she's forced to decide. january, that's when it's in and out. speaking of, while alaska's joe miller owes his very senate candidacy to sarah palin, he has an odd way of showing it. here he is on "fox news" sunday. >> do you think that sarah palin is qualified to be president and would you like to see her run? >> you know, i'm running a u.s. senate race right now. in the state of alaska. that's what i'm focused on. i've been asked about various candidates throughout the country during this race. that's not my role to comment on those candidacies. >> did you love that three-second pause there? anyway, how is that for a warm alaskan embrace? what does he mean, it's not his role? palin just made this guy. you'd think that he'd remember it for a couple weeks at least.
now for the "big number." having a hard time shoring up his bona fides. why? candidate for governor is having a hard time. why? he made some risky business decisions over the years, drawing on big bank loans and investing in his daughter's now bankrupt sporting goods store. all in all, what's steele's financial situation look like? he's over $5 million in debt and running for governor. he may have to sell his house to avoid foreclosure. nathan deals $5 million in personal debt. whatever happened top good old republican cash and carry? tonight's hard to explain big number. up next, how should democrats take on the energy, the enthusiasm and let's face it, the electricity of the tea party. stufy, make the call. ♪ [ dialing ] [ beeping ] [ beeping ] [ beeping ] [ eli ] it's go time. ♪
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least nine allied troops. it happened in the southern part of the country. nato says the cause of the crash is under investigation. but that there are no reports of enemy fire. the fbi has arrested a man for allegedly putting a backpack on a crowded chicago street corner thinking it contained a working explosive device. the national bureau of economic research says the longest recession since world war ii is officially over. but the pace of recovery is still unusually slow, especially in the jobs and hougsing sectors. investors an economists are hoping the federal reserve will throw out a hint about future stimulus moves when it needs to discuss interest rates later today. hurricane igor still heading north after battering bermuda this weekend. it is not expected to approach the u.s. mainland but could impact canadian fishing. that's the news for now. we'll send you back to "hardball."
these folks aren't serious about the deficit. not if they want to spend another $100 billion without paying for it. to give tax breaks to folks who don't need it and weren't even asking for it. that's their agenda. that's what they're offering the american people, a future that looks like a recent past that did not work for you. one where special interest got reined to play by their rules and middle-class families were left to fend for themselves. philadelphia, that's not a future i accept for the united states of america. that's not a future that joe sestak accepts for the united states of america, and if you don't accept that future for this nation, then we've got to have your help in this election.
>> welcome back to "hardball." that's president obama up in pennsylvania, late this afternoon, campaigning for u.s. senate candidate, joe sestak, the longtime admiral. how can democrats compete with the energy of the tea party that's brought the voters on the right to their feet? u.s. congressman kendrick meeks, a democratic nominee for the senate down in florida. congressman meeks, thanks so much for joining us. i've got show you something that's fairly disheartening. dale peterson, he's a republican from alabama. and he's running an ad -- well, let's talk about some of the tough ads running -- about losing. here he is on saturday the values voters summit. let's listen to this character. >> until we get rid of berry or barack or i haven't seen the feet on the birth certificate, so i don't know what is he. i may get arrows or bullets shot at me, but we got a guy that hates america. i'm just going to go ahead and say it. okay? >> what do you make of that? your fellow american there destroying the reputation, if he can, of the president.
calling him barry, any name that he can to put him down. suggesting that he's not born in america. suggesting that he's an illegitimate president. you get the works. you know what they're up to. >> well, i think the best thing we can do, chris, is not pay attention to that kind of language. folks are losing their jobs. we have the threat of folks that are running for office right now that are willing to give tax breaks to the super wealthy that will send us into a $700 billion deficit spending over the next several years. i think it's important that we focus on getting people back to work. it's very unfortunate that kind of discourse is taking place and in florida, we feel standing up for the middle class as i've done throughout this race is going to help us win this race. and i think in the final analysis, americans are going to frown on that kind of activity and those that rally around it. >> let's take a look at the man everybody respects, general colin powell this week. it's on a muslim argument. let's listen. >> one, the president was born
in the united states of america. let's get rid of that one. let's get rid of that birthing thing. let's attack him on policy, not nonsense. next, he is a christian. he is not a muslim. 20% of the people say he is a muslim. 80% apparently do not believe he's a muslim. >> 31% of republicans say he's a muslim. >> well, surprise, surprise. but i bet your dollar if the unemployment rate was not 9.6%, if it was down to 4%, then you would find 5% thinking he was muslim. >> well, there's a moderate american political figure. general colin powell. put him in the center political. how do you hold center the in this election, congressman? >> hold it through a plan that will get america back to work. the president came in, a number of other folks in congress, to lay down the floor as it relates to stopping us from going into a depression. we were already headed into a recession. this recession has lasted longer than expected but we do know in 2011 there will be a rebound. there will be a rebound this year. as it relates to private sector
jobs, private sector jobs have been added. it's very important we fight hard and talk about tax cuts for the middle class. talk about how we'll get high speed rail in this country. how we're going to move green initiatives that will get people back to work. some of the same music that the right was playing two years ago got us into this mess that we're in right now. $700 billion in unpaid for tax cuts to the wealthy and also to special interest is not the way to go. what's important is giving tax cuts to small businesses and also the middle class. and we're going to fight for that. >> okay, thank you very much, u.s. congressman kendrick meeks rung for the united states senate in florida. up next what's newt gingrich up to? i don't know, we're going to talk about. we're not going to be nice. he says president obama's leading a secular socialist machine. he's talking about sharia overtaking this country. it's the latest outrageous statement from newt. is he okay? is he just trying to act a little weird, you know like joaquin phoenix putting on an
act? what is the story of this guy? he used to be speaker of the house. this is "hardball" on msnbc. t m, every bank loan would be a guarantee of success. at ge capital, loaning money is the start of the relationship, not the end. i work with polaris every day. at ge capital, we succeed only when they do. whoo! awesome! yes! we've got to get you out of the office more often. ♪ my turn to drive. ♪
if you bought into that idea there was a rift between president clinton and california gubernatorial candidate jerry brown, forget about it. former president's not only endorsed brown for governor but he's coming to california in mid-october to campaign for him. brown recently apologized to clinton for making a joke about the monica lewinsky scandal during a campaign event. former president clinton's visit is good news for brown who trails former ebay ceo meg whitman in the governor's race. "hardball" will be right back.
on the one front, we have a secular socialist machine led by obama, pelosi and reid and on the other front we have radical islamists who would fundamentally change this country into a system that none of us in this room would recognize. >> we're back now as former house speaker newt gingrich on the values voters summit on saturday as the tea party ramps up the red hot rhetoric on the right, newt's spewing out the molten lava. here's more of him on saturday. let's listen, if you can. >> i have no problem with the mosque that exist in new york city that are peaceful and obey american law, but i am totally opposed to any effort to impose sharia on the united states and woe should have -- [ applause ] we should have a federal law that says under no circumstance
in any jurisdiction in the united states will sharia be used by any court to apply to any judgment made about american law. and we should make clear to justice breyer and justice kagan, who both seem confused on this topic, that no judge will remain in office who tries to use sharia law to interpret the american constitution. >> what do we make of this? this is sort of like that professor henry hill from hell. joe conason writes for salon.com and the "new york observer" and eric bollard from media matters. eric, how do you decide with what do you do with stuff that is so outlandishly awful, there's nobody imposing sharia law, islamic law, cutting off hands or stoning in the united states, no judge is pushing it, but the yahoos are buying it from a guy that's not a yahoo, a guy who's worse than a yahoo, who is playing to them.
your thoughts. this isn't a lie. this is an absurd statement aimed at rousing up the crazy people and to be even crazier. >> yeah i mean, it's beyond strawman. it's just pure idiocies. no one in american politics is talking about implementing char why and no one on the supreme court, obviously. it's just -- it's, again, it's beyond offensive and it's just idiotic. you know, hopefully the days of newt gingrich sort of being taken seriously by the establishment press are over. earlier in the debate about the mosque, he equated supporters with nazis. last year, he called judge sotomayor a racist. now he's running around talking -- you know, trying to connect obama to being a muslim. and talking about sharia law. >> eric, why do you think this goes on? why because of his previous office he's given the status of a regular political figure rather than a yahoo or a crazy person. >> yeah, absolutely. he's a failed speaker of the house from a failed decade ago. why he had this ongoing platform baffled me for a long time and right after obama was inaugurated, newt gingrich was everywhere. he was the official spokesperson for the obama critics. he has no base. he has no real responsibility.
>>io, is this in the style book? you know how you are not supposed to refer to hitler. everybody's a mister or mrs. in the style book. hitler you don't call him mister. is there something where he's given the status of a regular political figure even though he says these horrible things because of an office he once held? >> well, chris, i think on some level, he's regarded as a potential presidential candidate. at least that's how i -- >> where's that? where's that? >> well you see that mentioned all the time. he's getting ready for 2012. he's positioning himself on the right. he's taken out this right wing territory. but, you know, look, he's raising money all the time. you get e-mails from human events and other things featuring newt gingrich and he knows that this stuff sells. there's a minority of people who buy into this outlandish rhetoric and hate speech that he indulges in and it's always worked for him, chris. go back to gopac, where he had a list of horrible names that he said every republican should use about democrats. this is the essential newt
gingrich. >> but a good opportunist isn't supposed to look like an opportunist. >> a bully. >> here is gingrich talking to "the national review." quote -- what if obama is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understood kenyan anti-colonial behavior can you understand his actions. that is the most accurate, predictive model for him. he's a person arguing, eric, that the president of the united states who gave us his entire auto biography, wrote it himself, which separates him from most politicians, wrote it by hand, told us everything about his life, now they're trying to take him back to ellis island and pushing him back to where his parents came from and sending him off to africa and saying that's who you are, it's an incredibly unamerican thing to do, i think. >> it is disgusting. this idea they're going to smear obama because he was born to his father, this is just off the charts. again, the conservative
movement, particularly on the media side, there's no adult supervision. this is what happens when you hand things off to sort of these media carnival barkers, like limbaugh, like glenn beck, and newt gingrich, clearly is a media figure. you know, they have taxed so far to the right, no one wants to be left off of the crazy train. >> no adult supervision. what do people like mitch mcconnell and john boehner, who have made their living in the center, who draw federal paychecks from a majority of people in their district, who vote for them, who do not include a majority of nuts, obviously. don't they ever -- is there a whistle in this playground, to make your point? no adult supervision. a great line. here he is, former secretary of state colin powell, the very opposite in being of newt gingrich on "meet the press" yesterday. let's listen. >> mr. gingrich does these things from time to time, with a big, bold statement and he does it occasionally to make news and also stir up dust. it may appeal to the fringe elements of the party, but i don't think it appeals to all republicans.
and i don't think it appeals to the whole country. this kind of chatter, he's a kenyan channeler and all this sort of stuff, makes a lot of news. and you will find that governor palin and people on the right side of the political spectrum, along with the tea party movement, really are getting a lot of attention and a lot of news and they're making a lot of noise and they're making a lot of chatter throughout our political system. and that's fine. that's good. but i don't think anybody should grab that and think that's the entire country. >> you know, when i hear him speak, guys, it reminds of the old days growing up when good king richard comes back from the crusades and saves the day with robin hood. finally a grown-up has come back, the good guys come home. there's colin powell as good as ever, getting better all the time. i'm stunned by him. he's the only adult on the playground. your thoughts? >> certainly on the republican side, insofar as general powell still identifies as a republican, he sounds reasonable
compared to everything else that's coming from that side of the aisle these days. i think he could have been a little tougher on newt gingrich. look, newt gingrich lived a lie. he imposed a lie on this country when he poses the moral scourge of the congress, when he was speaker going after clinton. and now we know, this guy, you know, was not an avatar of morality. he had treated, you know, two out of three wives incredibly badly. he was carrying on an affair with a staff member while he was going after clinton. why would anyone listen to him criticize the background of barack obama. it shows how gullible a lot on the right would be that they would stand there and applaud this character. >> i guess christine o'donnell is not the only republican messing around with witchcraft these days. when you look at this guy, i think you are looking at
mesostopoly figure of our time? >> and colin powell says he makes these statements from time to time. it's every week. he equated mosque supporters to nazis. now he's talking about obama's kenyan world view and things like that. it's consistent, it's constant. >> thank you, we've got to go. eric, keep posting the information. we rely on it, media matters. thank you, joe conason, love "the new york observer." and i'll have some thoughts on what we saw from president obama today. it was good stuff from that cnbc town meeting, a great format for the president. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. the fun, the fast, the solid glk. see your authorized dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial. [ female announcer ] start your morning... hey. what are you doing up? i thought i'd take a drive before work. want to come? [ female announcer ] or make his day. yeah. [ female announcer ] maxwell house gives you a rich, full-flavored cup of coffee, so you can be good to the last drop.
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president obama's live interview today on cnbc. this is barack obama at his best. answering questions before a live audience. it's a fabulous way to catch him thinking out loud. also listening in realtime to people's questions. we need to get a lot of both, because what a leader is thinking, how he or she is getting to his or her policies can be as important as the policies themselves. economics can be obscure. a leader's motives and reasoning are far easier to fathom. i want to know why he wants to end the tax cuts for those making high incomes. is it to punish them because they make more than the national average? or is it because the country needs that money, going to pay for valuable, often necessary purposes? today i got the clear impression the president supports increasing tax rates for the very wealthy back to 1990's levels for the basic reason the country needs the money for good reasons. and it's not sound finance to further run up the national debt. i think it's vital too that the president of the united states be out there taking good
questions and not just from ringers. what was good about today, is that many of the questions were from people that may not have voted for him, and even more likely, may have walked into that room not intending to vote democratic this time. it's good to hear skepticism for people right there in the president's face, facing him down with it, not simply from people we ourselves come across. the great thing about today's give and take is that it placed the president in the same world with people that are not in his cheering section, much less his entourage. i have one small tweak to make to what the president said today. he should stop saying that giving people tax cuts is giving people money. it's their money! a tax cut is when the government doesn't take our money. it's an important distinction. he talked today, for example, about people getting a check from the government in the form of a tax cut. that's not the way it works. if tax rates are kept lower, it's a matter of the check going to the government being smaller. again, it's an important distinction. the good thing about today's interview with cnbc is that he was showing us how he thinks and